BJP springs surprise, beats Congress in Assam civic polls
Guwahati, Feb 13: After the recent debacle in the Delhi assembly election, the results of polls to civic bodies in Assam came out positive for the BJP as the party Thursday won 340 of 746 municipal board and town committee wards in the state.
Election officials said while the Bharatiya Janata Party won 340 wards under 38 municipal bodies and town committees, the Congress won 232 wards under 17 municipal bodies and town committees.
Regional political party Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) won 39 wards followed by the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) with eight and the Nationalist Congress Party with four wards.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Bodoland People's Front (BPF) won one seat each, while 77 were won by independents, officials said.
An election official they "still compiling some of the counting reports".
The results came as a contrast to that in 2009, when the ruling Congress in Assam had secured 425 seats. The AGP and the BJP came second and third, with 102 and 66 seats respectively.
The civic polls which were held Feb 9 was seen as a semi final by the political parties, ahead of the state assembly polls slated for early next year.
The results came as a major setback for the Congress which has been in power in Assam since 2001. The party had suffered a lot in the last four years due to the growing difference of opinion among party leaders.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, however, said the results of the civic polls were as expected, and that the party fared better than the Lok Sabha polls.
Gogoi, however, took to the Delhi election results quickly in his bid to slam the BJP, and said people discarded the BJP in just eight months.
The result, however, elated the BJP in Assam, which is hoping to make it big in the 2016 assembly polls. The BJP had secured seven of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam in the 2014 elections.
"We are happy to see the results of the civic polls today. I hope the people of Assam have accepted the BJP and they have realised the misrule of the Congress in Assam over the years," said Assam BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharyya.
In Delhi too, the BJP hailed the results of the local body elections, saying the results indicated that the people of Assam had made up their minds to oust the incumbent Congress government.
In a statement, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said the results were of "prime importance" as the state will go for assembly polls in 2016.
The elections held to 74 urban local bodies registered a voting percentage of about 72 percent.
Patra said of the 74 urban local bodies that went to the polls, the BJP won at least 45, significantly improving its number from 16 it had won in the last election.
"The results clearly point to the fact that the people of Assam have made up their minds to outst the incumbent Congress government and install a development-oriented BJP government," he said.